Mar 13 2017
IF YOU ARE A MUSLIM, even with American citizenship, expect to have your cell phone and social media searched at the border
It’s perfectly legal and does NOT violate your 4th Amendment rights, whether or not you are an American citizen. President Donald Trump is in charge now and Muslims don’t get a free pass or special consideration anymore as they did during the past eight Obama years. Get used to it.
NBC News When Buffalo, New York couple Akram Shibly, a Muslim, and Kelly McCormick (below) returned to the U.S. from a trip to Toronto on Jan. 1, 2017, U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers held them for two hours, took their cellphones and demanded their passwords.
“It just felt like a gross violation of our rights,” (it’s NOT) said Shibly, a 23-year-old Syrian Muslim filmmaker born and raised in New York. But he and McCormick complied, and their phones were searched.
Three days later, they returned from another trip to Canada and were stopped again by CBP. “One of the officers calls out to me and says, ‘Hey, give me your phone,'” recalled Shibly. “And I said, ‘No, because I already went through this.'”
The officer asked a second time. Within seconds, he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend’s face turn red as the officer’s chokehold tightened.
Then they asked McCormick for her phone. “I was not about to get tackled,” she said. She handed it over. (You are with a Muslim, so naturally you are under suspicion)
Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement needs at least reasonable suspicion if they want to search people or their possessions within the United States. But NOT at border crossings, and not at airport terminals. “The Fourth Amendment, even for U.S. citizens, doesn’t apply at the border,” said Callahan. “That’s under case law that goes back 150 years.”
Shibly and McCormick’s experience is not unique. In 25 cases examined by NBC News, American citizens said that CBP officers at airports and border crossings demanded that they hand over their phones and their passwords, or unlock them.
The travelers came from across the nation, and were both naturalized citizens and people born and raised on American soil. They traveled by plane and by car at different times through different states. Businessmen, couples, senior citizens, and families with young kids, questioned, searched, and detained for hours when they tried to enter or leave the U.S. None were on terror watchlists. One had a speeding ticket. Some were asked about their religion and their ethnic origins, and had the validity of their U.S. citizenship questioned.
What most of them have in common — 23 of the 25 — is that they are Muslim, like Shibly, whose parents are from Syria. According to DHS officials, 2017 will be a blockbuster year. Five-thousand devices were searched in February alone, more than in all of 2015.
According to Washington Examiner, Muslim U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad claimed she was ‘detained after the Trump ‘Muslim Ban’ by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. She said she was held for two hours without explanation. She made remarks on February 7th implying she was affected by Trump’s travel ban. But… one day after liberal tears were flowing over the poor Muslim Olympian that Trump detained at the airport, Ibithaj Muhammad admits the event occurred in December. In December 2016… before Donald J. Trump even took office.
What CBP agents call “detaining” cellphones didn’t start after Donald Trump’s election. The practice began a decade ago, late in the George W. Bush administration, and was highly focused on specific Muslim individuals. The number of checks decreased significantly under the Obama regime, but ticked up again in 2015 and 2106, sparked by a string of domestic Muslim terrorist incidents in which the watch list system and the FBI failed to stop American Muslims from conducting attacks.
If their social media posts had been checked, it’s likely the San Bernardino terrorists (below) would not have been able to slaughter so many Americans.
The rhetoric about a Muslim registry and ban during the presidential campaign also seems to have emboldened federal agents to act more forcefully. The shackles are off,” said Hugh Handeyside, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “We see individual officers and perhaps supervisors as well pushing those limits.